“Africa Would Be Good For Europe Too”

Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called on world leaders to recognize that the increasing levels of inter-dependency amongst the comity of nations translates into shared destinies, whether good or bad, across the globe.

Speaking at the annual Africa Day event, on Tuesday, 30th January, 2024, Vienna, Austria, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering of global leaders that, he believes a well-developed and prosperous Africa would be good, not just for us Africa, but also for you, here in Austria and Europe.”

Citing antecedents of equitable balance of wealth, he alluded to the lessons of history that has shown that “a rich trading partner, operating within a fair, trading system, brings prosperity to both sides, far more than the exploitation of a poor partner,” he said.

He also stated confidently that, “the problems that face the world are more likely to be quickly resolved when we are all prosperous, than when half the world is immersed in poverty.”

Emphasising on the reasons for a fair and mutually beneficial trading system, he said, “the continent is in possession of thirty percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources, and two-thirds of the earth’s arable land.”

The President also bemoaned the age-long practice where Africa has been largely dependent on the production and export of raw materials, without any meaningful value-addition processes.

“After sixty odd years, it is obvious that the aid path will not take Africa to where she has to be. Africa does not want to be a scar on anybody’s conscience. She does not want to be pitied; she does not want to be either a pawn or a victim. Africa no longer wants to be the default place to go to find the footage to illustrate famine stories. We no longer want to offer the justification for those who want to be rude and abusive about Africa and her peoples,” he stressed.

Recalling the prevalent situation during the latter half of the century, he disclosed that, ‘the countries that made rapid economic strides were the ones that prioritised investment in education and skills training, and encouraged high levels of investment in entrepreneur development.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo added that, the key catalysts to accelerate economic growth, ensure food security, and create jobs for our educated, empowered youth, will be to spur the growth of more entrepreneurial economies in Africa will provide the basis for undertaking the urgent task of the structural transformation of African economies, which are largely dependent on the production and export of raw materials, to value-added, industrial ones, and stimulate agricultural productivity.

“I am here today to call for increased investment and trade between our two continents. Trade relations between us have evolved through history, and it is clear that a new paradigm has to be defined, which will be dependent on the structural transformation of the African and Ghanaian economies from raw material producing and exporting economies, to value-adding, industrialising economies,” he told the gathering.

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Once this done, President Akufo-Addo, continued that, I”t will enable the countries on the continent, including Ghana, to trade at the high end of the global value chain, dealing in products we make and grow. Out of this, a robust trading system between Europe and Africa, Austria and Ghana will be created, which will generate mutual prosperity for the peoples of the two continents and countries.

Describing Ghana as a haven of peace, security and stability and the safest country in West Africa where legitimate investments are protected, he said,

“we have resolved to build a progressive and prosperous country, and are drawing inspiration from the success story of countries around the world. We have also decided to walk hand-in-hand with the private sector and the business community in this journey.”

That is why “we have worked hard these past three years to turn the corner, and return to the high periods of growth which characterised my first term in office, when we were, consistently, amongst the highest growing economies in the world,” fueled by the overarching goal of making the Ghanaian economy the most business-friendly economy in Africa.”

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